Monday, September 08, 2014

Snake Pictures

To get out of a Costco store you must show your receipt. There's a gatekeeper with a highlighter who reviews your receipt and the items in your cart and then marks off that they've done so. If you happen to have children with you, Costco gatekeepers are in the (sometimes annoying) habit of drawing a picture on the receipt to please the children and mark off that they've checked your cart all in one go. Depending on how much of an artist the gatekeeper considers themselves, this activity can really put a backlog in the line of customers wishing to get out of the store.

We've had simple smiley faces, balloons, sunshines, that kind of thing.

Once someone attempted quick caricatures of our three children.

As much as it slows us (and everybody else) down, I do have to admit that the children look forward to the picture they'll get on the back of the receipt.

If, however, you are deemed too mature (or too young to notice) all you'll get is a careless squiggle down your receipt—a streak of florescent pink or yellow, nothing more.

One day we went shopping and even though we had all three kids in tow the gatekeeper didn't draw us a picture. He just squiggled the marker down the paper and handed it back to us.

Benjamin was very upset about this.

"A simey face?" he asked. "Where's the smiley face?"

It had been a long day of running errands and Benjamin was running out of steam. He was getting ready to get really angry about being denied a smiley face on the back of our receipt.

"No smiley face today," I said. "But look! It's a snake! How lucky are we to get a picture of a snake?"

"Oooh, 'nake!" he said. A smile crowded out his donkey-on-the-edge look and he held his snake picture the whole way home.

Andrew took Benjamin to Costco on Saturday and it happened again, but this time Benjamin knew right away that the squiggle was really a picture of a snake (and it was exciting because usually all we get are boring old smiley faces).

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